NAACP Should Let Allen West Speak

Writing for The Hill, The Root contributing editor David Swerdlick says the NAACP is wrong to shut down the congressman over his recent accusations about communism. Instead, he argues, members should listen to West and challenge him where they disagree.

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Rep. Allen West (Politico)

Writing for the Hill, The Root contributing editor David Swerdlick says the NAACP is wrong to shut down the congressman over his recent accusations about communism. Instead, he argues, members should listen to West and challenge him where they disagree.

As the Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers reported last Friday, in the wake of West’s comments, the Martin County chapter rescinded its invitation to have him address its Freedom Fund Banquet, now rescheduled for September 15th. And the reason, according to chapter president Rev. Jerry Gore, is because “There’s a certain statement he made about communists” and “we do not represent that type of atmosphere.”

That’s good -- but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t speak -- it’s all the more reason that he should.

We’re in the middle of a national debate about the size and scope of government. And we’re in an election year where Barack Obama -- the first African American president -- is running for reelection in an atmosphere where political opponents like West -- the only GOP member of the Congressional Black Caucus—accuse the president of being a “low-level socialist agitator” who possesses “third world dictator-like arrogance.”

Read David Swerdlick's entire piece at the Hill.

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David Swerdlick is an associate editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.